KILMARTIN SERIES: 2
In this series, we are looking at how unclean and perverse spirits can easily take hold in a place and turn it away from The Lord. We are taking Kilmartin village in Argyll as an example; largely because we live there, but also because it is a focal point where faith in God, once dominant, is being seriously challenged by unbelief, Humanism and New Age philosophy.
“The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark; I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept.
Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth, and to the house of Judah like rottenness.
[Hosea 5:10-12 NKJV]
‘he willingly walked by human precept’
I know that I must, like Enoch, walk with God and not rely on my own ideas; for if I do, I am ‘broken in judgment’ and also ‘oppressed’. Oppression, we learn, is the work of demonic spirits. Nowadays such interpretations are discounted, but in my experience it does ring true. There may well be other, scientific ways of saying the same thing, but for me the Bible example is the more telling.
‘like those who remove a landmark’
‘Ephraim’ means ‘a double ash heap, a place of fruitfulness’ and here Hosea uses it as the name for the northern kingdom; indicating that the land has become a place of deterioration and corruption. Why? Because God has lifted His hand from the place because ‘the princes of Judah’ (which represents the people of God) have dispensed with their boundaries (have abandoned God and returned to a sinful life). Therefore, God ‘causes’ the natural and spiritual land to rot.
Kilmartin Glen is quite spectacularly beautiful despite the current spate of attempts to spoil the natural environment. The quarry will eventually run out of the ‘raised beach’ it mines for resources. The despoiling of the original church manse’s ground by Kilmartin Museum will eventually resolve around a new state-of-the-art space to house the artificers plundered from the surrounding glen. In a way it will become a monument to what has always been the case in this landscape — that man has used and misused it for centuries, and continues to do so.
However, it is the spiritual battleground in which we find the greatest cause for concern. The Museum — although laudably providing a magnificent interpretive centre for local archaeology — is becoming a behemoth in the area, threatening to push Christian practice underground, while raising up their ‘worship’ of pre-Christian ‘Old Religion’ and Pagan relics, placing them conspicuously at the forefront of Cille Mhartainn (St Martin’s Church). The old Church of Scotland building is currently being used as a storeroom for the Museum and many trees (some diseased) are being felled to make way for the new look village, whether those of us who live here are expected to like it. Some will; some will not.
All this quickening pace of change strikes some of us very much like those who remove a landmark in Hosea 5. Progress involves change, but not all change is progress. What we need is for a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit — revival, if you will — in this oft afflicted land.
So many of us limit our praying because we are not reckless in our confidence in God. In the eyes of those who do not know God, it is madness to trust Him, but when we pray in the Holy Spirit we begin to realise the resources of God, that He is our perfect Heavenly Father, and we are His children.
[from ‘If You Will Ask’ by Oswald Chambers]
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART